Bog moss

Native to parts of North, Central and South America, bog moss is an aquatic plant with moss-like, thready leaves. It can form dense mats that block water bodies.

Originally sold as an ornamental aquarium and pond plant, bog moss appears to be in its early stages of spread in Queensland's waterways.

Bog moss is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Mayaca fluviatilis

Description

  • Aquatic herb that grows either fully submerged or as semi-terrestrial plant along margins of wetlands.
  • Stems are white with pink tips, 40-60cm long, sometimes over 1m.
  • Leaves are moss- and thread-like, arranged in dense spiral.
  • Flowers are pink with 3 petals.

Habitat

  • Prefers shallow freshwater ponds, streams and drainage ditches in tropical and subtropical coastal areas.

Distribution

  • Wild population has been detected near Innisfail.
  • Can be well adapted to subtropical and tropical climates of Queensland.

Impacts

Environmental

  • Can form dense mats that block shallow freshwater ponds, streams and drainage ditches.
  • Has potential to smother and replace aquatic plant species.

How it is spread

  • Dispersal is via broken stem fragments.
  • Seeds can be spread by water.

Legal requirements

  • Bog moss is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. However, by law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control.
  • Local governments must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in their area. This plan may include actions to be taken on certain species. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local government for more information.

Further information